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THE CAMEL CLOBBERS THE TIGER CUBS
Back to the day job then and a late substitution for your reporter as unfortunately Innings had to attend to family duties. This week’s visitors were Leicester Tigers – the last team to beat Sarries in the Premiership at Allianz almost exactly a year ago. So a score to settle then for Sarries and momentum to be maintained for Tigers.
EYE OF THE TIGER
This weekend sees the return of The Gallagher Premiership after a somewhat extended break! The last game was on 4th Jan when we were soundly beaten by Sale Sharks up at the A J Bell – gosh that seems a lifetime ago! Just to remind everyone of the status quo – Sarries sit in second place in the GP, 4 points behind Exeter Chiefs. Both teams have won 10 out of 12 matches but Chiefs have accrued 4 more bonus points (worth a win that!).
THEY'VE FINALLY DONE IT!
Sarries travelled to Sixways for the first semi-final of the Premiership Rugby Cup. As best runners-up, Sarries were destined to be the away team for both semi final and final, should they get there but in other ways, the bizarre scheduling favoured Sarries: their game against Quins had given the squad almost 2 weeks R & R while Wuss had to cope with a 5 day turnaround.
FRIDAY FIGHT NIGHT
After a strong Worcester side produced an excellent second half to beat a relatively star-studded Wasps this weekend, we've been 'rewarded' with a Friday night fixture at Sixways in the first Premiership Cup semi-final. In truth, neither club will be that happy with the scheduling, but clearly the TV overlords want to avoid clashing with the men's Six Nations fixtures, so we'll have to get on with it!
NOTES FROM THE STOOP
Sadly there doesn’t seem to be a recording of the whole game anywhere so here are some notes from the few clips & reports I have been able to find.
AND ON THE OTHER HAND....
Something of a change in intensity and focus this weekend. After the drama and challenges of the Heineken Cup, attentions change to the Premiership Rugby Cup competition this weekend. And I guess players and spectators alike can be forgiven for that “After the Lord Mayor’s Show” feeling.
GLASGOW SUFFER FROM WIND - RENNIES ALL ROUND ON MONDAY
First things first. My first sighting of a Glasgow Warriors supporter on Sunday was a Scot wearing a kilt. My sister in Scotland is passionately proud of our Highland heritage, and her wardrobe includes no fewer than three versions of the many, nine or ten, variants of the Gordon clan septs, as the tartan patterns are correctly called. One of her plaids is Dress Gordon. So, when I saw a Scotsman wearing the pattern, I said “Nice to see the Dress Gordon.” Cue misunderstanding and a cold weather front, because he heard me say “Nice to see the dress, Gordon.” Not to worry, I escaped the dreaded Glasgow Kiss, and moved swiftly on to see the end of the warm-up drills.
SARRIES ARE REMAINERS IN EUROPE
After 5 spectacular rounds of Phenomenal European action, Sarries remain in the European Champions Cup, currently the only team to have a q next to their name, it's only a small q but Saracens will be looking to change that to a large Q and qualify with a home Quarter final as long as they beat Glasgow Warriors this weekend at Allianz Park.
So all in all a pretty good weekend then. We arrived in Lyon after a relaxing, easy and punctual trip on Eurostar and SNCF. I was a little surprised to find our hotel room on the 36th floor of the Tour de Crayon but the view across the city was amazing. Friday dinner was arranged by our travelling companions Mr and Mrs Farmer at L’institut -the late Chef Lyonnaise, Paul Bocuse’s training kitchen and it was VERY good. Michelin star food at affordable prices!
AN AMAZING ESCAPE
A top of the table London derby match against Quins, probably part 2 of 3 to decide this years champion team in the Tyrell’s Premier 15 was ample reason to turn up at Allianz Park on a chilly afternoon. Previous matches have seen Sarries dominate the tight stuff and squeeze out Quins attacking threat, but usually only by a few points, this a close rivalry of 2 evenly matched teams.